Czech Nymphing

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The highly effective short line heavy fly method from the iron curtain has found its home in many countries when flyfishers are faced with the sort of water that standard wet, dry and nymph tactics struggle to combat – fast boily, pot hole, rock strewn heavy water. The method involves no real casting, no more than two or three feet of fly line should be outside the tip ring, the team of flies is lobbed with an overhand or underhand roll and kept in close contact as they bounce across the bottom. Takes will be felt or seen, watch the leader


The basic outfit is: Rod 9 to 11ft long AFTM 5/6, the longer rod has the edge as far as I can see, line floating, leader, this is seen as a standard Czech Leader, there are no doubt others:


  1.              Fly Line                         6 to 9 feet 6/7lb                   12” 5/6lb            12” 5/6lb

                               ________           ______________________    __________     __________


                                                                              Top dropper I Middle Dropper I       Point Fly



The total length of the leader is dictated by the rod length and what suits you and the water conditions. The important bit is the 12” between each fly, this ensures that the combined weight of the flies get to the bottom very quickly and stay there. Two fly teams can also be used. The heaviest fly is usually put on the middle dropper, but again there is scope to experiment.


My first attempts to master this technique revolved around getting the weight of the teams of flies right to suit water and wind conditions. It soon became apparent that four easy to recognise weights of fly were essential. The following is offered as a means of solving that problem in a crowded fly box.


Heavyweight:  #10/12

These are standard leaded flies, heavy but pretty lightweight compared to what comes next!


Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear   -    Killer Bug


Hydropsyche Larva   -   Pink Larva 

An 8 fly set of Heavyweight Czech Nymphs #10/12  -  £3.50






Super Heavyweight   #8,10,12

These are Gold & Silverbead pattterns that are tied with extra lead as well. Easy to spot in the fly box.

                                                                                           GBGRHE10        SB WHITE10   SBKILLER10   GOLDBEAD GREEN LARVA 14

           Goldbead Hares Ear      GB Hydropsyche      Goldbead Killer Bug    Goldbead Green Larva

An 8 fly set of Super Heavyweights #10/12   -   £3.80






Sumo Weight  -  The Stonefly Nymph  #8/10

This is tied with a tungsten bead and lead and will sink in any current!

Tied with Lime 2.9mm and Hot Orange  3.3mm beads.



A 4 fly set of Sumo Weight Czech Nymphs (Tungsten plus lead) #8/10  -  £2.60





On my limited trips using these flies and method I had a clear feeling of déjà vu, thirty years back in the memory bank and sure enough I, and no doubt others, used pretty much the same method but instead of flies on the leader you put a single hook and a worm

Memories of the Nidd in Yorkshire where when things were quiet you took the fly off and attached a hook, searched for a worm in the grass, and free lined the fast water for trout and grayling. The method was expertly outlined by Sydney Spencer ‘ Clear Water Worm Fishing’, it’s a while since I read it, at some point I need to hunt down a copy as I am pretty sure the Czech Nymph Method might have been inspired by Mr Spencer.


Like all short/free line methods this is a very absorbing fascinating technique. Careful wading and complete silence are essential. Success comes as a bit of a surprise, something more akin to a conjuring trick rather than a fishing method. Just met a spey fisherman who has taken seat trout and a 3lb Grilse on the flies. I suspect there is scope in fast water runs in the summer months, wait a minute Mr Falkus had something to say about worms and rapids…..

YouTube - New Czech Nymphing
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